Would Ravens Be Good Fit for Odell Beckham Jr. If He's Available?
Whenever there's speculation about a big-name wide receiver being available, there's a very good chance the Ravens will be mentioned as a team that could be — or should be — interested.
So it should come as no surprise that the Ravens were named as a good fit for Odell Beckham Jr. on Fox Sports' "First Things First" if the Cleveland Browns were to consider trading the three-time Pro Bowl receiver.
"How about Baltimore? Lamar Jackson needs a big-play receiver and OBJ can make up for some bad throws by the quarterback because we know he can go get the ball," Chris Broussard said. "He can also turn a short route into a game-breaking play. It's time for them to get Lamar the weapons.
"You saw what a great receiver, Stefon Diggs, can do for a young quarterback. We saw it in Arizona with DeAndre Hopkins and what he did for Kyler Murray. I'd like to see Lamar get a receiver like that before I say, 'He can only hit the tight end, he can only throw it in the middle of the field.'"
Whether Beckham is even on the trade block is unknown; the Browns have given no indication.
Beckham, 28, had 23 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns in seven games last year before suffering a torn ACL that ended his season. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was actually more consistent after the Browns lost Beckham, throwing for 15 touchdowns and two interceptions. Beckham has missed 25 games over the past four seasons due to injury.
"Still, his $15.75 million cap hit isn't bad for a player of his caliber," ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano wrote. "Receiver-needy teams hesitant to spend big on Allen Robinson or Kenny Golladay could call Cleveland, which also has high-priced Beckham buddy Jarvis Landry under contract at the same position. More than ever, executives are willing to at least discuss possibilities with big-ticket players."
Even if the Browns are open to trading Beckham, the chances that they'd send him to a division rival are pretty slim.
Moreover, FOX analyst Greg Jennings questioned whether Beckham would be content playing in a run-first offense.
"I would push back [the Ravens being a good fit for Beckham], only because of the frustration I think Odell would experience with some of the inconsistency that would come with getting the ball from Lamar Jackson," Jennings told Broussard.
A Playmaking Safety Could Take Ravens Defense to Another Level
The most obvious needs for the Ravens this offseason are at wide receiver, offensive line and outside linebacker, but The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec said there's another position of need that is not getting much attention.
"There's not been a ton of talk about how much they could use a playmaking safety, but I think the team recognizes that piece could take their defense to another level," Zrebiec wrote.
Starting safeties Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott played well last season and are still under contract (Clark signed a three-year extension last February and Elliott is entering the final year of his rookie contract), but they didn't create turnovers consistently, Zrebiec wrote.
"The addition of a rangy, ball-hawking safety would give defensive coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale more options," Zrebiec wrote. "Plus, the Ravens have no depth behind Clark and Elliott, and Elliott is a free agent next year, so to me, acquiring another safety is closer to a necessity than a luxury."
The Baltimore Sun’s Daniel Oyefusi also noted that depth is needed at safety.
"With roster upgrades required at other positions, it's unlikely the Ravens dole out a huge sum of money in the offseason for a safety, and a backup at that," Oyefusi wrote. "But given Elliott's injury history and Clark's importance to the defense, it would be wise for the team to invest in a veteran who could fill in if either is sidelined."
The Ravens could address the position in the draft. In NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock draft, he has them selecting TCU safety Trevon Moehrig with the 27th-overall pick.
"The Ravens have other needs to address, but the reason they're so successful is because they draft the best player available," Jeremiah wrote.
The Draft Network's Jordan Reid wrote: "Trevon Moehrig is a free safety that has satisfied multiple roles for the Horned Frogs. A consistent and urgent single-high player, he's a free-flowing mover that's at his best when able to patrol the middle of the field. With seven career interceptions, he's proven to not only be a constant ball disruptor, but he's a safety that can change the momentum of games by getting the ball back to his team."
Look for Devin Duvernay, James Proche II to Play Bigger Roles in Passing Game Next Season
As the Ravens look to improve in the passing game next season, second-year wide receivers Devin Duvernay and James Proche II could be part of the solution.
"Both playmakers were highly touted prospects and they shined throughout training camp," Sports Illustrated’s Todd Karpovich wrote. "Instead, Duvernay and Proche mostly made an impact on special teams. Look for both of those players to play a bigger role in the passing attack next season."
Duvernay, a third-round pick, had 20 catches for 201 yards last season and was first among Ravens wide receivers in catch percentage (76.9). He also had four carries for 70 yards on sweeps. Proche, a sixth-round pick, had just one catch for 14 yards.
"The Ravens ranked last in the NFL for passing attempts (406) and passing yards per game (171.2) last season. Baltimore is focused on improving that passing attack but might be hesitant to spend big money in the free-agent market because of a tighter salary cap," Karpovich wrote. "As a result, the team expects Duvernay and Proche to take the next step in their development and become more vital playmakers."
General Manager Eric DeCosta praised Duvernay and Proche during his offseason press conference.
"I think their best football is ahead of both of those guys," DeCosta said. "We're very happy with both those guys, as young receivers who came into a very difficult situation this year, with no OTAs, and essentially, no real training camp – so to speak – with games. We're excited about both those guys – we really are."
- Zrebiec wrote that if there's one free agent in the AFC North the Ravens should target it's Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree: "Dupree had 11.5 sacks in 2019 and he was on pace for another double-digit sack season with eight in 11 games last year before his season-ending [ACL] injury. The Ravens need a disruptive performer on the edge and Dupree really took his game to another level the past two years."